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One draft, two Hall of Famers (and more)

Posted May 7, 2014

The Bills landed a pair of Hall of Famers - and more - in the 1985 NFL Draft.

When Andre Reed was announced as a member of the 2014 Hall of Fame class, it not only brought Reed a long-awaited honor, but also solidified the Bills 1985 draft as perhaps the best in team history.

Fellow Hall of Famer Bruce Smith was selected No. 1 overall that year – he’s one of just 13 No. 1 picks in NFL history to be enshrined in Canton – and pairs with Reed to give Buffalo two all-time greats in the same draft.

Overall, there have been 15 occasions of a team drafting multiple Hall of Famers in the same year, as reported in a buccaneers.com profile of Hall of Fame draft-mates Warren Sapp and Derrick Brooks.

Here's the full list:

Year, Team Hall of Famers (Round)
1995 Buccaneers Warren Sapp (1), Derrick Brooks (1)
1985 Bills Bruce Smith (1), Andre Reed (4)
1974 Steelers Lynn Swann (1), Jack Lambert (2), John Stallworth (4), Mike Webster (5)
1970 Steelers Terry Bradshaw (1), Mel Blount (3)
1965 Bears Dick Butkus (1), Gale Sayers (1)
1964 Redskins Charley Tayloy (1), Paul Krause (2)
1964 Cowboys Mel Renfro (2), Bob Hayes (7), Roger Staubach (10)
1964 Browns Paul Warfield (1), Leroy Kelly (8)
1963 Texans Buck Buchanan (1), Bobby Bell (7)
1957 Browns Jim Brown (1), Henry Jordan (5), Gene Hickerson (7)
1957 Eagles Tommy McDonald (3), Sonny Jurgensen (4)
1956 Packers Forrest Gregg (2), Bart Starr (17)
1952 Yanks Les Richter (1), Gino Marchetti (2)
1945 Rams Elroy Hirsch (1), Tom Fears (11)
1936 Bears Joe Stydahar (1), Dan Fortmann (9)

But despite two legends in the same class, the notables from Buffalo's 1985 draft haul didn’t necessarily stop there.

The Bills drafted Jackson St. WR Chris Burkett, the 1986 league-leader in yards per catch, in the second round and went after Maryland QB Frank Reich in the third-round (57th overall, 29 picks ahead of Reed's selection in round four).

Currently the San Diego Chargers offensive coordinator, Reich forever cemented his role in Bills history in The Comeback Game, but often played spot-duty as the backup to Jim Kelly.

Offensive tackle Dale Hellestrae, a three-time Super Bowl Champion with the Dallas Cowboys, was the Bills fourth-round pick (112). And although DB Ron Pitts was just a seventh round pick at No. 169 overall, the UCLA product played 66 career NFL games before a successful career in the broadcast booth.

Out of little-known Kutztown State in Pennsylvania, Reed was considered one of the greatest “yards after catch” receivers in the NFL and his 951 career receptions ranked third in league history. His 13 seasons, including nine consecutive, with 50-plus receptions was exceeded only by Jerry Rice at the time of his retirement.

Reed will officially be honored in Canton on Saturday, August 2 as part of Hall of Fame weekend. Ticket packages may be purchased online through NFL On Location at ProFootballHOF.nflonlocation.com